Katie and Grace, Adriana's nieces, are here for the day as Rocio needs to work and it is actually easier to have the extra ones here as they help entertain Joshua and Sammy. Katie is a very mature 8, and Grace, a sweet five year old. Grace has not been feeling well--a bit of a tummy upset--so Adriana is preparing one of her homemade remedies for her. It fascinates me to hear the girls speak--very proper British accent, and easy switch to Spanish when necessary. Grace looked me straight in the eye this morning and asked, "Do you speak Spanish." She looked disapprovingly at me when I answered, "no," but Adriana said that she asked that so she could speak Spanish around me and I wouldn't understand. Yes, these bi-lingual children have figured out much.
One of Adriana's big frustrations here is that the owners of the house have left much of their stuff here, leaving them with little storage. The "garage" (an 8 foot wide by 11 foot long box--one could get a small European car in there, but I can't imagine how the door could be opened to let the driver out), is quite full of their stuff--bikes and boxes and suitcases. There is also another refrigerator out here--that certainly helps with the food storage situation. Anyway, I've told Adriana I will tackle it and see if I can at least re-order things so they have more storage. Apparently the owners of the house promise much, but deliver little in terms of removal of their things.
I'm hoping to make a trip next week to Sheffield to see a friend of mine, and so need to learn about the extensive train/bus system here. Should be an adventure, but at least knowing the language means I can ask for directions and get some help. We'll see what happens. The children like riding the train, so perhaps we'll all go to Victoria Station together so I can see what it takes to find the proper trains. I have this image of a huge confusing underground with trains taking off from multiple stations and levels--probably been reading too many British detective novels.
So, I continue to enter into the domestic details here. Can now use the dishwasher and washing machine, and hope to relieve Adriana of a few things while I am here. Feels good to be a part of her life and talk with her about what it means to rear children in a culture with extremely low standards of sexual morality and almost no Christian influence. A big challenge in front of them.
At this point, it looks like they will be in London for five years, and are thinking about buying a house. The plans for a Paris office have been put on hold because of the economy, and, if so, that would mean some more settledness for them. They want to stay in this area. They've found a great school for Joshua and want to offer him some stability. Both of the boys really do struggle with separation anxiety--they've just moved so much that it has affected them that way. Joshua has already lived in Australia, New York City (and moved twice while there), Canada, Colombia, France, and now London. A lot for this not quite three year old child.
Now, back to helping out a bit here.